(1) A Board or a children's court shall hold its sittings at such place, on such day and in such manner, as may be prescribed.
(2) A magistrate empowered to exercise the powers of a Board or, as the case may be, a children's court under sub-section (2) of section 7 shall, while holding any inquiry regarding a child under this Act, as far as practicable, sit in a building or room different from that in which the ordinary sittings of civil and criminal courts are held, or on different days or at times different from those at which the ordinary sittings of such courts are held.
(1) Save as provided in this Act, no person shall be present at any sitting of a competent authority, except-
(a) any officer of the competent authority, or
(b) the parties to the inquiry before the competent authority, the parent or guardian of the child and other persons directly concerned in the inquiry including police officers 2[and legal practitioners], and
(c) such other persons as the competent authority may permit to be present.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), if at any stage during an inquiry, a competent authority considers it to be expedient in the interest of the child or on grounds of decency or morality that any person including the police officers, legal practitioners, the parent, guardian or the child himself should withdraw, the competent authority may give such direction, and if any person refuses to comply with such direction, the competent authority may have him removed and may, for this purpose, cause to be used such force as may be necessary.
1*[(3) No legal practitioner shall be entitled to appear before a Board in any case or proceeding before it, except with the special permission of that Board.]
Any competent authority before which a child is brought under any of the provisions of this Act may, whenever it so thinks fit, require any parent or guardian having the actual charge of, or control over, the child to be present at any proceeding in respect of the child.
If, at any stage during the course of an inquiry, a competent authority is satisfied that the attendance of the child is not essential for the purpose of the inquiry, the competent authority may dispense with his attendance and proceed with the inquiry in the absence of the child.
(1) When a child who has been brought before a competent authority under this Act is found to be suffering from a disease requiring prolonged medical treatment or physical or mental complaint that will respond to treatment, the competent authority may send the child to any place recognised to be an approved place in accordance with the rules made under this Act for such period as it may think necessary for the required treatment.
(2) Where a child is found to be suffering from leprosy or is of unsound mind, he shall be dealt with under the provisions of the Lepers Act, 1898 or the Indian Lunacy Act, 1912, as the case may be.
(3) Where a competent authority has taken action under sub-section (1) in the case of a child suffering from an infectious or contagious disease, the competent authority before restoring the said child to his partner in marriage, if there has been such, or to the guardian, as the case may be, shall where it is satisfied that such action will be in the interest of the said child call upon his partner in marriage or the guardian, as the case may be, to satisfy the court by submitting to medical examination that such partner or guardian will not re-infect the child in respect of whom the order has been passed.
(1) Where it appears to a competent authority that a person brought before it under any of the provisions of this Act (otherwise than for the purpose of giving evidence) is a child, the competent authority shall make due inquiry as to the age of that person and for that purpose shall take such evidence as may be necessary and shall record a finding whether the person is a child or not, stating his age as nearly as may be.
(2) No order of a competent authority shall be deemed to have become invalid merely by any subsequent proof that the person in respect of whom the order has been made is not a child, and the age recorded by the competent authority to be the age of the person so brought before it shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be the true age of that person.
In making any order in respect of a child under this Act, a competent authority shall take into consideration the following circumstances, namely:-
(a) The age of the child;
(b) The circumstances in which the child is living;
(c) The reports made by the probation officer;
(d) The religious persuasion of the child;
(e) Such other circumstances as may, in the opinion of the competent authority, require to be taken into consideration in the interests of the child:
Provided that in the case of a delinquent child, the above circumstances shall be taken into consideration after the children's court has recorded a finding against the child that he has committed the offence :
Provided further that if no report of the probation officer is received within ten weeks of his being informed under section 19, it shall be open to the children's court to proceed without it.
In the case of a neglected or delinquent child whose ordinary place of residence lies outside the jurisdiction of the competent authority before which he is brought, the competent authority may, if satisfied after due inquiry that it is expedient so to do, send the child back to a relative or other person who is fit and willing to receive him at his ordinary place of residence and exercise proper care and control over him, notwithstanding that such place of residence is outside the jurisdiction of the competent authority; and the competent authority exercising jurisdiction over the place to which the child is sent shall in respect of any matter arising subsequently have the same powers in relation to the child as if the original order had been passed by itself.
The report of the probation officer or any circumstance considered by the competent authority under section 33 shall be treated as confidential:
Provided that the competent authority may, if it so thinks fit, communicate the substance thereof to the child or his parent or guardian and may give such child, parent or guardian an opportunity of producing such evidence as may be relevant to the matter stated in the report.
(1) No report in any newspaper, magazine or news sheet of any inquiry regarding a child under this Act shall disclose the name, address or school or any other particulars calculated to lead to the identification of the child, nor shall any picture of any such child be published:
Provided that for reasons to be recorded in writing, the authority holding the inquiry may permit such disclosure, if in its opinion such disclosure is in the interest of the child.
(2) Any person contravening the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, any person aggrieved by an order made by a competent authority under this Act may, within thirty days from the date of such order, prefer an appeal to the court of session:
Provided that the court of session may entertain the appeal after the expiry of the said period of thirty days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time.
(2) No appeal shall lie from-
(a) Any order of acquittal made by the children's court in respect of a child alleged to have committed an offence; or
(b) Any order made by a Board in respect of a finding that a person is not a neglected child.
(3) No second appeal shall lie from any order of the court of session passed in appeal under this section.
The High Court may, at any time, either of its own motion or on an application received in this behalf, call for the record of any proceeding in which any competent authority or court of session has passed an order for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the legality or propriety of any such order and may pass such order in relation thereto as it thinks fit:
Provided that the High Court shall not pass an order under this section prejudicial to any person without giving him a reasonable opportunity of being heard.
(1) Save as otherwise expressly provided by this Act, a competent authority while holding any inquiry under any of the provisions of this Act, shall follow such procedure as may be prescribed and subject thereto, shall follow, as far as may be, the procedure laid down in the 1*[Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973], for trials in summons cases.
(2) Save as otherwise expressly provided by or under this Act, the procedure to be followed in hearing appeals or revision proceedings under this Act shall be, as far as practicable, in accordance with the provisions of the 1*[Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973].
(1) Without prejudice to the provisions for appeal and revision under this Act, any competent authority may, either on its own motion or on an application received in this behalf, amend any order as to the institution to which a child is to be sent or as to the person under whose care or supervision a child is to be placed under this Act.
(2) Clerical mistakes in orders passed by a competent authority or errors arising therein from any accidental slip or omission may, at any time, be corrected by the competent authority either on its own motion or on an application received in this behalf. _
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